A Toast to Beef Wellington!

Beef Wellington (to the French filet de bœuf en croute) is a traditional popular dish in UK and in France. The dish was named to honour Sir Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, having defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in the 1815 battle of Waterloo. The dish is made up of a beef tenderloin, brushed with Dijon mustard, covered with a paté of mushrooms, onions, thyme, and prosciutto, wrapped in pastry, and then baked in the oven. Served with a red wine sauce.

Beef Wellington is a real treat and deserves an equally indulgent wine to set it off. It should be paired with medium bodied red wines that go well with both the beef and the mushrooms.

Good red Burgundy (Cote de Beaune or Cote de Nuits) like Pinot Noir is an excellent choice. A Chambolle-Musigny or Vosne-Romanée would be perfect if you can run to it. Other Pinots from the New World like California, Oregon and New Zealand would also be great, allowing the flavour of the fruit to come forward rather than just the power of oak.

A good quality Merlot would also hit the spot. I suggest a wine from Saint-Emilion & Pomerol, or other merlot-dominated Bordeaux regions. Perhaps also a Californian Merlot. Bordeaux reds, even those with a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, are not the powerful reds commonly made in California. An older bottle, with tannins fading away, might be delightful with this dish.

Syrah is a bit powerful for a Wellington but Côte Rôtie from the northern Rhône has a finesse that would show both the dish and the wine off well.

Beef Wellington isn’t a classic Italian dish but wines made from Sangiovese, Barbera, Dolcetto, Valpolicella & Nero d`Avola, would be an excellent accompaniment.

Full-bodied red wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello or a Spanish Rioja Gran Reserva with five or more years of ageing would also have the right character for your Beef Wellington.


If you are going to the effort of preparing this dish from scratch, you might want two bottles of different wines on hand. That way, if you find one of them to be too muted against the richness of the beef dish, you can switch to the second bottle and enjoy the meal. An after-dinner brandy or cognac would be a fantastic wrap to the meal.

Shopping cart